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The Benefits of Pretend Play

 

Children love playing. They have a natural knack for making the most out of life and having fun. Because of their active and free imagination, they are able to make something out of nothing and have a great time doing it. They love imagining they are other places and other people. It could be a superhero, a princess, a fireman, or many other things. They live through their imagination like it is real. What is surprising to some is how they can do this without the help of real toys. They can take whatever is at hand and take off from there. What a wonderful gift!

 

Kids can play for hours without much in the way of visual aids. They get excited. They laugh and enjoy being whatever character they dream up. Pretend play is their most valued treasure. They love role playing, sometimes emulating mom or dad. They pretend they are driving the car to the grocery store or baking cookies. It is a world all their own that was created right from their own minds.

 

When we get older we tend to lose that excitement for life. Maybe children are able to see more than we do. Adults just accept the imaginative play is something kids do and forget how much they enjoyed it themselves when they were young. This ability to live through the imagination is a special gift and very healthy for children to do. This pretend play is a vehicle that is crucial in the development of these kids.

 

Imaginative Play Benefits

The ability to role play really contributes great benefits for kids to develop their sense of character. What they learn and experience as they imagine these various experiences will have an affect on what happens as they become adults. One of the other great benefits to pretend play is the safety factor. They can imagine whatever they want without ever being in any real danger. It gives them the ability to practice life as a child and prepare for the years ahead.

 

Social Benefits

Many times when children are role playing they're putting themselves into social situations. In these scenarios they can interact with different feeling and emotions while emulating the people they've seen. 

 

Example - A boy might pretend to be an Ironworker like his dad. A girl may pretend to be a nurse like her mother. They envision themselves at work doing the same things mommy and daddy do. 

When they're engaged in these roles they are practicing concepts like taking turns, interacting with other people, communicating clearly, and both positive and negative scenarios. They are putting themselves in other people's shoes and experimenting with that environment.

 

They learn how it feels to empathize with someone. They take a lot from what they hear and then try it on for themselves. They can practice conflict resolution while playing with other children which will serve them greatly in the years to come. Parents who would like more information about how to resolve conflict effectively should check out this course.

 

The Cognitive Benefits

Whenever kids are engaging in pretend play they almost always include both good guys and bad guys in their scenarios. They seem to be hard-wired to the fact that life is filled with oppositions and obstacles that need to be overcome. These types of role-play experiences teach them very critical thinking skills. They learn about what is acceptable behavior and what is not. They learn to hone their problem-solving skills and create solutions. When they create a scenario where a good guy must overcome a bad guy, they learn to solve problems and create solutions to affect a successful outcome. They learn negotiating skills when two of them want to play the same character. They negotiate to decide who gets to play that character. They learn to take turns as well and then must decide who gets to go first.

 

Creative Benefits

Another excellent benefit aside from the problem-solving skills is the development of their creative skills. While pretend playing they are naturally learning how to be innovative. Creativity is inherently universal among children. The people who are the most successful as adults, tend to be adults who were able to continue embracing their creative side.

Sadly, there is also a tendency among some children as they grow older to distance themselves from their creativity. It is creativity that enables people to experience success in life, especially in terms of their careers. That is why this role playing and imaginative learning is so crucial for all children. A lot of their success in life depends on it.

 

Creative Benefits

Another excellent benefit aside from the problem-solving skills is the development of their creative skills. While pretend playing they are naturally learning how to be innovative. Creativity is inherently universal among children. The people who are the most successful as adults, tend to be adults who were able to continue embracing their creative side.

 

Sadly, there is also a tendency among some children as they grow older to distance themselves from their creativity. It is creativity that enables people to experience success in life, especially in terms of their careers. That is why this role playing and imaginative learning is so crucial for all children. A lot of their success in life depends on it.

 

Language Benefits

One of the biggest and most significant benefits derived from pretend play is the development of language skills. Children keenly observe what takes place around them. They will inevitably repeat words and phrases they hear from others. As they act out in pretend play they develop communication skills based on what they've heard. Children learn words that can better help them express themselves and get their point across. That's why parents should be so careful with what they say around their kids. Unfortunately, the old 'Do as I say and not as I Do' doesn't work. It becomes ingrained in their mind. It also causes an intense curiosity that almost creates a desire for them to do it. It only makes it worse, like the forbidden fruit. 

 

Encouraging Imaginative Play

When you realize how important pretend play is for your kids and their success in life, you want to take an active role in encouraging them to play. Parents need ways of encouraging the kind of play that engages the imagination of the kids. Engaging in some of their games with them is an excellent way of not only showing them ways to do it but re-enforcing the fact that they should. Parents are role models. If they play with the kids and are encouraging imaginative activities the kids will pick it up easily. Children love having the parents involved. The sense of approval is another great benefit for the children. They sometimes get into areas where they may be a bit unsure of where the boundaries are. However, with the parents right there to teach them they are much more secure in their play. The bonding experience is priceless.

 

Pretend Playing is obviously more than just a way for the kids to be amused. It goes much deeper than that and has life-long consequences. It is an invaluable asset for the development of your children. It gives them solid primary skills they can use later on in their lives.

 

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